Avoid Boring People: Lessons from a Life in Science

Front Cover
Vintage Books, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 347 pages
From Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson, a living legend for his work unlocking the structure of DNA, comes this candid and entertaining memoir, filled with practical advice for those starting out their academic careers.

In Avoid Boring People, Watson lays down a life's wisdom for getting ahead in a competitive world. Witty and uncompromisingly honest, he shares his thoughts on how young scientists should choose the projects that will shape their careers, the supreme importance of collegiality, and dealing with competitors within the same institution. It's an irreverent romp through Watson's colorful career and an indispensable guide to anyone interested in nurturing the life of the mind.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amarcobio - LibraryThing

I enjoyed reading the first half of the book, and I struggled to go through the second half. In any case, it was a good read, and the advices at the end of every chapter are sometimes useful. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fsmichaels - LibraryThing

Loved the title of this book and was excited to pick it up, having read other memoirs of scientists (Richard Feynman, memorably). Found though that this book didn't resonate. Liked the idea of the ... Read full review

Contents

MANNERS LEARNED WHILE AN UNDERGRADUATE
21
MANNERS PICKED UP INGRADUATE SCHOOL
38
MANNERS FOLLOWED BY THE PHAGE GROUP
55
MANNERS PASSED ON TO AN ASPIRING YouNG SCIENTIST
72
MANNERS NEEDED FOR IMPORIANT SCIENCE
94
MANNERS PRACTICED AS AN UNTENURED PROFESSOR
118
MANNERS DEPLOYED FOR ACADEMIC ZING
136
MANNERS NOTICED AS A DISPENSABLE WHITE HOUSE ADVISER
155
MANNERS DEMANDED BY ACADEMIC INEPTITUDE
195
MANNERS BEHIND READABLE BOOKS
213
MANNERS REQUIRED FOR ACADEMIC CIVILITY
240
MANNERS FOR HOLDING DOWN TWOJOBS
259
MANNERS MAINTAINED WHEN RELUCIANTLY LEAVING HARVARD
286
EPILOGUE
316
CAST OF CHARACTERS
329
REMEMBERED LESSONS
343

MANNERS APPROPRIATE FOR A NOBEL PRIZE
173

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About the author (2010)

James D. Watson was director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York from 1968 to 1993 and is now its chancellor emeritus. He was the first director of the National Center for Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health from 1989 to 1992. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, he has received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society and is a Knight of the British Empire (KBE). He has also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science, and, with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.

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